BE Savvy

3 Ways to Tell Your Co-Workers ‘No’ When on a Diet

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The following was written by Daris Wilson:

We’ve all heard the criticism from those within our circle when it comes to making the decision to get healthy and in shape.

Truth be told, it can sometimes feel like you’re being sabotaged. I can see and hear it now from the office politics trying to pry you away from your lean protein and veggies.

“You look fine to me,” or “This one time won’t hurt.”

[Related: 3 Meal Planning Tips for Busy Professionals]

If this is you, have no fear as you’ll be armed with the best ammo to get you out of that sticky situation and avoid the 2 p.m. sugar attack that’s inevitable if you decide to ‘grab that slice’ or a burrito from Chipotle.

Here are my best three tips for telling your co-workers “no” when aligning with your healthiest self:

1. Blame it on the budget: Being that finances are far more taboo than sex in this country, your coast will be quite clear from any lunch date invitations (at least until pay day). Be sure to share the importance of you becoming disciplined in your finances as well as your health (Or a simply, “I’m cutting back on spending,” should do the trick.)

2. Have your gym bag ready: By this time, you’re probably noticing a pattern of the time co-workers are heading to lunch. Place your gym bag on the desk and take one step further by heading to the gym for a 35-40 minute high intensity interval training (H.I.I.T.) session followed by your healthy, prepared lunch you’ve packed.

3. Build in your treat (not cheat)* meal: The reality is this, food is far more than just nourishment in our society; it’s culture. It’s an opportunity to be with those we love and like. With that being said, there should be a time to join your comrades for lunch without destroying your diet. You can follow these steps to do just that:

  • Have a protein-rich snack like a protein shake 1-2 hours before lunch.
  • Take a look at the online menu of the restaurant and choose your meal before stepping foot into the restaurant.
  • Once seated, say no to the bread and opt for water and side salad.
  • Be first to order food so you’re not influenced by co-workers’ non-diet-friendly choices.
  • Enjoy your food and the company you keep!

Now that you’re equipped with your verbal ammo, I want to encourage you to continue to stick to the script and lead from in front. You never know, your co-workers may soon be joining you for a lunch break at the gym.

*We use the term treat meal vs. cheat meal to emphasize the point that we do not cheat on things we honor, love, and respect, i.e. body and training program. We “treat”ourselves which will enhance the relationship between self and nutrition.

Daris Wilson is a certified personal trainer and the creator of JCF Boot Camp in New Jersey. You can follow his fitness journey and health tips @JCFBootCamp.